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Commercialising Community Forestry in Indonesia: Lessons About the Barriers and Opportunities in Central Java
- Irawanti, Setiasih, Ginoga, Kirsfianti L., Prawestisuka, Aneka, Race, Digby
- Small-scale forestry 2014 v.13 no.4 pp. 515-526
- community forestry, farmers, forest management, forest trees, households, livelihood, markets, nonindustrial private forests, traditional farming, Indonesia
- The integration of agriculture and forestry is commonly viewed as a foundation for sustainable livelihoods for small-scale farmers. In many tropical countries, traditional farming practices by smallholders include some trees or forest management for multiple purposes. This article reports on research that explores the experiences of smallholders in Central Java, Indonesia, who are increasingly blending aspects of their traditional farming practices with cultivation of commercial timber trees. Smallholders manage complex farming systems that are responding to the demands of commercial markets. Smallholders in Central Java typically manage a wide range of species that yield short-, medium- and long-term products that are used by households and sold into commercial markets. However, the authors’ research indicates that smallholders may not be optimising their forest management in relation to the potential financial returns, leading to a lower expectation of the value of forestry to their livelihoods. Support for community forestry could address several knowledge gaps amongst smallholders, so that community-based commercial forestry achieves its potential.